At “Christ is Coming” we hold to the increasingly popular but still misunderstood prewrath rapture position. The prewrath rapture position holds that the Rapture of the Church will occur sometime after the beginning of the great persecution of Israel and the Church by the Antichrist. It is signaled by the cosmic disturbances prophesied by Jesus in which the sun will be darkened and the moon turned to blood.
A comparison of Jesus’ words with the Book of Revelation indicates that these cosmic disturbances take place at the opening of the 6th seal. The removal of the Church begins the period of judgment by God known in the Bible as “The Day of the Lord.”
The prophet Joel said,
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. (Joel 2:31)
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.(Matthew 24:29-31)
This is the only gathering of the saints to Christ known in the Scriptures. The Rapture and the Day of the Lord, which follow the cosmic signs, cannot occur until after the revelation of the Antichrist. Paul taught this in 2 Thessalonians:
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
The Bible therefore does not teach a pretribulation rapture. Although belief in a pretribulation rapture remains common and is probably still the predominant view in the English-speaking world, it is potentially a dangerous doctrine as it can leave the Church unprepared to face the Antichrist and the rigors of the seven last, difficult years of history before the Return of Jesus Christ.